Eastern Europe covers a huge geographic area with multiple climates, from Mediterranean to alpine to polar-like. The tourist season generally runs from May until September, but most visitors arrive in July and August, especially in coastal areas, and in winter months in the mountain ranges. However, there is no one period within a year that could be said to be the best time for a visit to this region, but it rather depends on what type of weather, activities, attractions, and crowd you’d prefer. The truth is that every season in Eastern Europe has its charms, and we’ll prove it to you.
Spring in Eastern Europe
Spring is the time of blooming flowers and pleasant weather, perfect for exploring Eastern Europe’s charming cities and countryside. Since it’s the off season, you’ll save some money on plane tickets, accommodation, and activities. Also, spring is Easter time. Though more crowded during holidays, Easter markets and springtime festivals are a must-visit in Eastern Europe. Even if you don’t come during Easter festivities, there are innumerable famous sights, food, architecture, history, and art for you to explore. Go to Warsaw for its memorable springtime festivities, its gardens, museums, concerts, and the Jewish Motifs International Film Festival.
Stop by Budapest’s Vajdahunyad Castle Easter Fair and Exhibition, the Budapest Spring Wine and Jazz Festival, or the gorgeous Cherry Blossom Festival. If you visit Russia in spring, you’ll be there for the Cosmonautics Day, many traditional celebrations on (Orthodox) Easter, and the White Nights Festival. Prague’s famous Easter market in the Old Town’s Square is another must-see, and you’ll probably like the popular festivals, such as the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Czech Beer Festival, or the Prague Food Festival.
Summer in Eastern Europe
Summer in Eastern Europe is hot, sunny, and crowded, while the evenings are very pleasant. This means great weather for swimming, sightseeing, exploring the city, eating outside, enjoying festivals, and other outdoor activities. It’s best to plan your trip well in advance to get the best deals and avoid long lines for attractions. Summer-time Prague gives you the Museum Night, the Prague Folklore Days, the Festival of Italian operas, and much more.
Budapest also offers a myriad of outdoor festivals, such as the Summer Festival on Margaret Island and the Sziget Festival. Organ music, classical concerts, jazz concerts, and tango dance await you in Warsaw’s historic setting. Go to Łazienki Park for beautiful classical music by Fryderyk Chopin. For even more summer fun, enjoy Russia Day and the Moscow International Film Festival, and don’t miss Ivan Kupala, which celebrates the summer solstice.
Autumn in Eastern Europe
Fall is a fantastic time to travel to Eastern Europe – the scenery is colorful and gorgeous, the days are warm, but not too hot, the nights are chilly, the mornings refreshing, there are fewer people around, and the prices are lower. If you’re visiting Prague, you might want to take day trips to nearby attractions or strolls in the evenings, especially on Castle Hill, for some brilliant views. If you're in Kraków, visit the Wawel Castle, shop at the Cloth Hall, and definitely go to the lively main square in the Old Town, which hosts many concerts and events.
Fall days in Budapest are gorgeous as well. Enjoy a hot, tasty bowl of goulash in a cozy restaurant, sample wine in a bar, and have a nice cup of cappuccino in a historic café. Warsaw’s historic center is absolutely lovely, with its gardens, ancient sites, and attractions covered in autumn hues. You can enjoy a Jazz concert and Jewish cultural events as well. Russia’s Sparrow Hills, the Novodevichy Convent, and Red Square are even more awe-inspiring when bathed in fall colors.
Winter in Eastern Europe
In winter, just like locals, tourists can enjoy the nightlife, the performing arts, gorgeous winter landscapes, and holiday celebrations. The beautiful, often snowy-white Eastern European cities become colorful during holidays, filled with Christmas markets, New Year spirit, and later, Valentine’s Day gifts. There are ice skating rinks in historic centers, with the inviting scent of hot mulled wine filling the air. Take a walk in Budapest, see the main sites of the city covered in snow, eat the Chimney Cake at the Christmas Markets, then go to a Turkish Bath and a thermal outdoor pool.
The colorful Baroque buildings of Prague’s Old Town Square are surrounded by the gorgeous Christmas Market, offering traditional warm drinks and tasty foods. How about a day trip from Prague to Dresden? See the Dresden’s Frauenkirche and Germany’s oldest and one of the most traditional Christmas markets, the Striezelmarkt. Or travel to Berlin and tour its fantastic, free museums, such as the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears). Vienna, home of artists, palaces, museums, and remarkable historic and contemporary buildings, is also magical in winter. Explore the Schönbrunn Palace, or the MuseumsQuartier. Visit the Christmas Market outside Vienna’s Rathaus, or those at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz. New Year's celebrations are a huge thing in Eastern Europe, starting with the countdown and the bells at midnight, and lasting all night long.
Topics: World Travel